A New Year’s Eve celebration at the Reina night club in Istanbul, Turkey ended in bloodshed, when terrorists, including at least one assailant dressed in a Santa Claus costume, attacked, leaving 35 partiers dead and at least 40 more wounded.
Many details are unknown at this point, including the number of attackers and the reason for the assault. Reports are that there were anywhere from 500 to 800 people at the club when the attack began, some of whom may have jumped into the nearby Bosporous Strait, which separates the continents of Europe and Asia, to escape. The Turkish Dogan News Agency reported that some of the survivors claimed that the attackers were “speaking Arabic”.
The Governor of Istanbul, Vasip Şahin, in a statement issued to reporters, indicated that there may have only been one attacker. He stated that “a terrorist with a long-range weapon” killed a policeman and a civilian outside the club before entering and firing on people inside. “Unfortunately, [he] rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’s and have fun.” Governor Şahin did not indicate who he believed was responsible for the attack.
The Guardian states that so far, at least one attacker has been reported killed.
This attack is just the latest in a series of terror attacks that have taken place in Europe. Earlier, a Tunisian terrorist attacked a Christmas shopping market in Berlin, Germany, while a Turkish police officer murdered Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey in an apparent protest over that country’s policies in Syria.